Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Phil 1:18B-26; Gospel Lk. 14: 1, 7-11
St. Paul reminds us all the meekness of our existence when he says “What is it that you have not received. If you have received everything why do you boast as if it were yours?” There is a lot of hue and cry over personal rights and privileges in the world these days. But a real awareness of our human existence would reveal that we are just small little creatures in the world. What we are is the grace of God. This awareness would make us humble in front of God and in front of the other. The great king David cried out to Yahweh: “Who am I and what is my house that you have brought me thus far?” It is the same conviction of one’s smallness that led Jeremiah to say “I am only a boy,” or Peter to say “Depart from me for I am a sinful man” or certain centurion to say “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians mentions that Christ humbled himself before God even unto death.
But a false humility is to be also avoided. God has not created us as wretched and pitiable creatures. We are all created in God’s image and hence our dignity. Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, when called by King David came and prostrated in front of him and said: “I am a dead dog.” This is false humility. When the spies were sent to the Promised Land from Kadesh Barnea, they came back and gave the report: “We looked like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we appeared so before them.” What we think of ourselves would be what others would think of us. We are in the image and likeness of God but we are to be humble since we have received everything from him. If we have received, we are to also give to others. “You have received freely, so you shall give freely,” says St. Paul.